Have you been chosen by a family member or friend to be the Executor of their Will?
This means that you have been given responsibility to manage their estate according to the terms they have outlined in their Will and to protect their assets under the various laws and rules that govern estate administration in Australia.
Being an Executor can be overwhelming, particularly when you are grieving. We can guide you through the complexities, such as:
- Locating the Will
- Obtaining a copy of the Death Certificate
- Making sure any property and assets are safe and secure
- Determining the value of assets and liabilities
- Applying for Probate
- Paying insurance policies, debts and taxes
- Collecting monies belonging to the deceased from financial institutions and insurance companies
- Collecting debts owed to the deceased
- Lodging tax returns for the deceased and for the estate
- Selling properties and assets
- Distributing the proceeds of the estate to beneficiaries
What is Probate?
Probate is recognition of the Will’s validity and permission from the Supreme Court for the Executors named in the Will of the deceased to carry out their duties in relation to the estate. You will likely need a grant of Probate to deal with the assets of an estate, such as selling property and obtaining bank funds. We can assist you with the application for grant of Probate.
What if there is no Will?
This situation is referred to as intestacy and the law determines how assets will be shared out after debts have been paid. We can assist an eligible party with an application for a grant of Letters of Administration, giving authority to deal with the deceased’s assets and distribute the estate according to law.
What if I’m not up to the task?
Just because you have been named as an Executor does not mean you have to accept the task. If there is another Executor named in the Will, he or she can take on the whole of the responsibility or, if you are the sole Executor, you can apply to the court to appoint someone else. You cannot change your mind later though – generally, giving up the responsibility is final.